Josh Burdette, 9:30 Club manager, dead
WASHINGTON (WJLA) - Nearly two days after his passing, family and friends continue to mourn Josh Burdette, the well-known and well-liked manager and crew chief of D.C.'s 9:30 Club.
Burdette was found dead inside his Kensington home early Sunday evening.
For many, Burdette, 37, was the face of the V Street Northwest music venue. His stretched earlobes, tattoos and body piercings made him one of the most recognizable faces at the club. Burdette began working at the club in 1997.
Authorities are investigating the death as a possible suicide.
Workers and friends shared condolences as they enter the 9:30 Club as they mourned the loss Burdette.
Photographer Kyle Gustafson shot hundreds of shows at the club, embracing Burdette’s nickname of "that guy" as many people would often refer to Burdette as “that guy from the 9:30 Club,” never knowing his real name.
“He knew how he looked, obviously he pierced his face but he embraced it and he had fun with it and I think that's a complement to him,” Gustafson says.
Online condolences poured in as if a rock star himself was gone. Legendary rapper Chuck D called him a good dude; O.A.R. called him a gentleman and southern rocker Jason Isbell saying he always looked forward to seeing him.
A fan left flowers wrapped in a Washington Capitals towel outside the 9:30 Club, while inside, co-owner Seth Hurwitz was too upset to talk on camera, saying of the massive 300 pound Burdette: "Here was this scary looking dude that was a complete contradiction of his appearance. We were proud to have him as our ambassador to the world."
It’s a sentiment Gustafson echoes, as so many people in the D.C. music scene and beyond try to understand the loss of the man many knew only as “that guy,” not learning his name until he was no longer around.